Team Lakay veteran fighter Eduard Folayang is excited to put on a show for fellow Filipinos in America against Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in ONE on TNT IV on April 28.
Marking the fourth installment of the ONE Championship’s US prime time debut, Folayang said having a wider audience, especially Filipinos, gives him more motivation ahead of the much-awaited trilogy against Aoki.
“It’s an added motivation for me. I have many friends and fellow kababayans in the United States who are eager to watch me fight. I’m proud to get the chance to compete in front of American fans as well. It’s an important event and fight, for sure,” said Folayang, who holds a 22-10 record.
“Many fans and people wanted to see me. It was a great feeling to receive that love and support. When they heard I was there for a visit, they came out and gave me a very warm welcome. A lot of Filipinos dropped by to say hello.”
Aside from that, the fact that he’s up against Aoki, a mixed martial arts legend from Japan, is also an extra motivation for putting an impressive showing.
Folayang, however, hopes to recover from a slump after dropping four of his last five fights since March 2019, which was his first rematch with Aoki.
The Japanese grappling specialist, for his part, boasts a three-match win streak with the latest coming from a submission victory against James Nakashima last January 22 to improve at 46-9 record.
Both fighters are expected to settle their unfinished business once and for all after having an even 1-1 record against each other.
“It’s always an honor to share the cage with legends. That in itself has added a lot of motivation for me to succeed. This is one of the most important bouts of my career, so I’m really focused on claiming the victory,” added Folayang, a two-time ONE world lightweight champion.